I bought my first bathing suit of the season...I can hear you groan in mutual aggravation. Somehow trying on a bathing suit and looking in that full length mirror in the awkwardly small change room makes me feel like I was never meant to put such a thing on my body. I think, “Am I really planning to wear this in public? With people looking at me?!” But when you go to the pool or on a beach when everyone else is wearing the same thing, it seems normal again.
Let’s be honest. Bathing suit shopping post-kids compared to pre-kids is...different. After four kids, my body is no longer what it once was. But what in my life is? It is at this time in particular when I long for that chance to look like I did. And it’s a reminder of the freedom I once had too. Life was simpler. My plans were my own. My husband and I could go out when we wanted. We could pick up and leave the house without feeling like pack mules carrying all the supplies we need to make a simple trip to the grocery store (Do we have enough diapers? We need a change of clothes in case Calvin poops himself. And on and on.) We could vacation, just the two of us, without guilt!
But the trade off and the reward of having children is far better. It’s funny how raising children teaches you things about yourself and your spouse that you never knew. I feel like my husband and I are somehow closer, even though we have four children competing for our attention! It’s a busy, chaotic life, but I honestly wouldn’t go back. Not even for the dancer’s body I once had. Not for the opportunity to go to the movies whenever I wanted. My life is richer and fuller now. Parenthood is a constant lesson in change and letting go. So this time I’m letting go of my desire for a perfect bathing suit body. It ain’t gonna happen! Instead I’ll enjoy the days at the pool with my kids. Splashing and playing and having actual FUN instead of trying to look perfect and worrying about how I look.
Published: June 06, 2013